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Note: One of our readers asked about how to find previous pages. Actually, they are all there back to May 24, 2004, when we first went live. If you are looking to see what the race was like at this point in 2016, 2012, or 2008, just click on the year at the bottom of the legend box to the right of the map.

However, if you want a random date, the best way is to click on Data galore on the menu and then click on the Archives link in the Miscellaneous group. Then click on the nearest date to what you want and edit the URL in the address bar. Since 2014, the format has been like this:

Before that, the URLs were different, but if you start with either the presidential race or the Senate race in the year you want and edit the date (always three letters and two numbers), then you can jump anywhere. Note that although this year we have had postings every day, that wasn't true in the past, especially in the odd-numbered years. One minor consideration is we didn't clone the entire site every day, so some pages will appear somewhat different from how they did when originally published. For example, the Electoral College time series for April 27, 2012 shows the entire year, not just the days up to April 27, 2012, because there was only one file with the data and it was updated every day, so now it reflects the end of 2012. For the same reason, some of the primary maps don't reflect what they looked like then. But the scores and text on all pages are all correct.

Birx: Social Distancing Will Continue through the Summer

Yesterday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press" and said that social distancing will be needed throughout the summer. This statement directly contradicts what Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday, namely that by Memorial Day the coronavirus epidemic will be over.

Birx may not get what she wants. Unseasonably warm weather in California sent throngs of people to the beach this weekend, despite pleas from local and state officials to stay home. An estimated 40,000 people went to Newport Beach on Friday. As spring turns into summer, it may be hard to get people to remember that a pleasant day at the beach could cost them their lives. The only way to prevent this from recurring would be for officials to block all the roads leading to the beaches, ban all the parking within a mile or two or the coast, and have the police enforce this with big fines. That wouldn't be very popular, however.

Other states are taking small steps to reopen their economies. For example, on CNN's "State of the Union," Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) said that curbside pickup at stores will now be allowed, along with some store openings, and some elective surgeries. Other states have gone further. In Georgia, hair salons, bowling alleys, and gyms have opened. It is hard to argue that risking your life to get your hair done is a wise choice, but no doubt some Georgians will throw caution to the winds and do it. Needless to say, everyone will be watching the hospitalization rate in Georgia closely now. Two other numbers that will be closely watched are the total number of cases in the U.S., which will pass 1 million this week (987,322 this morning) and the total deaths (currently 55,415), which later this week will pass the number of Americans who died in the entire Vietnam War (58,209).

But not every Republican governor is willing to take as many chances as Georgia's Gov. Brian Kemp (R). Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) said that he is not going to reopen his state until the number of deaths has decreased for 14 consecutive days.

All of this puts Donald Trump in a difficult position. Some Republican governors and some officials in his administration want to open the economy right now. Other Republican governors and other officials in his administration pointedly do not want to. Trump can try to shoo the buck away, but it stops where it wants to stop. (V)

Black and Progressive Activists Are Warning Biden Not to Pick Klobuchar

Increasingly, progressives and black activists are warning Joe Biden not to pick Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) as his running mate. They regard her as too moderate and not capable of exciting two of the Democrats' main constituencies: progressives and people of color. The implicit threat is that if he picks the senator from Minnesota, many of them will stay home on Election Day and "punish" him by reelecting Donald Trump, a person they loathe and despise and who in a second term will carry out policies they detest and abhor. The technical term for this is "cutting off your nose to spite your face." But it could happen. In fact, it did happen in 2016.

As we have pointed out before, the Democrats have a choice to make. They can either focus on winning back Michigan and Pennsylvania (relatively easy) and either Wisconsin or Arizona, or focus on winning North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. If Biden goes down the former road, then Klobuchar or Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) would be the best choices. A woman of color is not likely to play well with the angry, resentful blue-collar men in the Midwest who put Trump in office. This strategy more-or-less concedes North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to Trump. It will make the progressives and some black women angry, but it might get him elected.

The other route is to pick a woman of color and concede Wisconsin as a lost cause and pull out all stops to win North Carolina and Florida. If Biden picks Stacey Abrams, he might also have a shot at Georgia, but even then it is a long shot. A black woman won't help in Arizona, as it is only 3% black. However, a Latina could be a huge help in Arizona, as 31% of the population there is Latino. If Biden thinks the state he needs the most help with is Arizona, which has one more electoral vote than Wisconsin (11 vs. 10), then the clear favorites are Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) since both are Latinas, although neither one speaks Spanish.

It will be Biden's first major decision and the most important one of the campaign. No matter what he does, a substantial fraction of the Democratic Party will be angry with him. So he has to choose which group he wants to be angry and make an estimate about whether they will get over it by Election Day. There is, however, a way he could try to fudge a bit, by picking a white woman as his running mate but simultaneously saying that he will appoint Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his AG. That might mollify some of the people who are now warning him.

While this is playing out, Stacey Abrams is out there campaigning like crazy for the job. Apparently nobody told her that this sort of thing is Not Done. People who want the job are expected to demur and be polite and say "Well, it is up to the candidate." Abrams is appearing at forums and writing op-eds and doing interviews in which she says she would be an "excellent choice." This violates decades of protocol. More important, though, is that her resume is very thin. Her highest office so far is state representative in Georgia. It is a bit hard to argue that she is the most qualified woman in the country to take over the helm if it is needed. By contrast, Harris was AG of the nation's most populous state and is now a U.S. senator, Masto was also an AG and is now a senator, and Grisham was elected to Congress and is now a governor. So if Biden decides he wants a woman of color, he has plenty of solid choices. Abrams won't make it based on her résumé, but she is extremely charismatic and if Biden wants to get the lefties really excited and get young voters to the polls, she's the one. (V)

Biden Thinks Trump Will Try to Delay the Election

We have repeatedly discussed the issue of whether Donald Trump could postpone the election and how hard that would be. Now Joe Biden is worried about the possibility. On Thursday, he told his supporters as much, saying: "Mark my words: I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can't be held." This is the first time Biden has said this out loud, although he has probably been thinking about it a lot in private.

Biden said that one route might be Trump's refusing to fund the post office, so absentee ballots could not be delivered. Biden also said that Trump would do everything in his power to make it hard for people to vote.

Could Trump defund the U.S. Postal Service? In theory, yes, because it is in a deep financial hole and needs help from the government to keep going. Congress could pass a bill to fund it, but he could veto it. Of course, this would mean all-out war with the Democrats with unpredictable consequences. It wouldn't actually postpone the election, but it would make Democrats' blood boil enough for many of them to take their chances by voting in person. In the states where Democrats control the elections process (often the purview of the secretary of state), they could order the polls open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for 30 days before the election, staffed by volunteers if the legislature refused to provide funding. This could lead to court fights with uncertain outcome, since it is very unlikely that Chief Justice John Roberts wants to decide the election.

If Trump does defund the U.S. Postal Service (which we doubt he will be able to get away with, because too many Republicans in Congress would get massive blowback from their constituents if they chose not to override his veto of the funding bill), Democrats do have another option in the states they control. They could allow people to come pick up their absentee ballots personally and bring them back personally. This would be much easier to do for people who live in cities than for people who live in rural areas. Of course, this would have to be done in a way that didn't cause long lines at the pickup places. Trump doesn't play 3D chess, but imagine what would happen if he announced he was going to shut down the Postal Service in October and the Michigan's secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, then announced that voters could pick up their absentee ballots, but only in Michigan's ten largest cities and nowhere else. Trump's campaign manager might just whisper in his ear that shutting down the Postal Service is not such a hot idea. It could get very messy. (V)

How Will Voting Take Place in November?

In the past, most people in 45 of the states went to their polling place and voted on Election Day. It was pretty straightforward. This year, it is anyone's bet what will happen. Undoubtedly there will be more absentee voting than usual (assuming the USPS is functioning), but 30% absentee voting is a whole different ball of wax than 80% absentee voting, and has implications for who wins. Amy Walter of Cook Political Report has some data and thoughts on the matter.

Let's start with enthusiasm. In February, Gallup found that 59% of Americans were enthusiastic about voting. This is 14 points higher than in Feb. 2016 and 12 points higher than in Feb. 2012. In March of this year, enthusiasm for voting had grown to 66%. 2020 was clearly going to break all records. Then COVID-19 hit and by April, enthusiasm for voting was down to 57%. Another poll, from Pew Research, showed that two-thirds of voters were afraid of showing up at the polls, standing in line, and getting sick. How will things be after Labor Day? There are a few scenarios:

  • The virus is raging and everyone is ordered to shelter at home
  • There are regional hot spots, but much of the country is close to normal
  • Almost all the country is back to normal, but people continue to avoid crowds
  • Things are normal, but a new wave of infections is predicted for October or November

How will people react? It may depend on which scenario holds and also how prepared the states are for absentee voting. The Wisconsin primary showed that people will try to vote absentee if they feel they have to. But it also showed that many people were unable to vote due to problems with ballots being mailed out or received. Nevertheless, 1.1 million ballots made it back on time to be counted, the largest number in the state's history. Still hundreds of thousands of ballots didn't make it back on time for one reason or another. And this in a state where the 2016 election was decided by 22,948 votes. Also of note is that primary voters are generally more motivated and more familiar with the voting process than general-election voters. Things that are obvious to primary voters, like how to request and fill out and absentee ballot, may flummox many general-election voters, who may have barely heard of such things and may not even trust them.

States could start preparing the process now and start educating the voters, but that is not going to happen because 13 of the 17 swingy states have either a split government or full Republican control. The GOP is not interested in encouraging absentee voting because it knows that, in general, it can be expected to increase the number of ballots cast by minorities and poor people (i.e., Democrats) relative to those cast by white people and rich people (i.e., Republicans). The bottom line here is that new laws that might make absentee voting go more smoothly are not going to happen in 13 of the 17 swingiest states. So folks there will have to make do with the current laws. Walter has collected them into a kind of cheat sheet:

Cheat sheet on swing states

Here are some of the takeaways from the cheat sheet:

  • All of them except Texas already allow vote by mail for everyone: In Colorado, everyone already votes by mail, so that's easy. In Arizona, one of the toss-up states this year, vote by mail is surprisingly popular, with 73% using that option in 2016. Going to 90% or more should be easy there. On the other hand, in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, fewer than 10% voted absentee in 2016, so for many voters, there may be a learning curve.

  • Most states require the ballot to be in on Election Day: Only Texas, North Carolina, and Washington count absentee ballots that are postmarked by Election Day but received later. North Carolina allows voters to drop off their absentee ballot at any polling place on Election Day, however. The consequence of these rules is that voting requires more advance planning than just showing up and voting. You have to request your ballot early, fill it out early, and mail it early. Waiting until the last minute to decide to vote won't cut it. This will surely reduce turnout by a large amount unless there is a massive education campaign.

  • Wisconsin makes it hard to vote absentee: To vote in the Badger State, a voter has to submit a photo ID and have a witness sign the ballot envelope as well. This is going to cause tens of thousands of voters to be disenfranchised. Count on it. But this is not a bug. The Republican-controlled state legislature that passed the law requiring these things knew precisely what it was doing and why.

  • Ballots in Many States Must Be Requested Far in Advance: Another hurdle is that quite a few of the states require absentee ballots to be requested a week or more in advance. This is going to block marginal voters who aren't paying attention and end up delaying making a request until after it is too late. Normally campaigns have get-out-the-vote teams who work on Election Day trying to nudge voters to the polls. This year that entire process will be completely upended. Most states have little experience with the process.

  • Everyone has to prepare for the unknown: Voters, election officials, campaigns, pollsters, and pundits are all in for a rough ride, with an election like no other, ever. New Mexico's Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver recently referred to her counterpart in the state of Washington, Kim Wyman, as "the most popular girl at the dance right now" (because Washington has been doing vote-by-mail since 2005). Will there be court fights? If the state legislature and governor are fighting with each other, there could be. What happens if a court orders a governor to do something and he says: "Nope. Ain't doin' it!"? There could be lawsuits, but ultimately it is the secretary of state who certifies the vote and courts can't order them to change results. Also, courts hate to void an election, especially on technicalities.

Maybe everything will go smoothly, but don't count on it. That said, if Mike Bloomberg is looking for an effective way to spend $500 million and actually influence the election, running informational commercials on vote by mail in the swingy states would be a very good way to do it. (V)

Economy May Not Bounce Back Until Late 2021

Yesterday on "Face the Nation," Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said that he expects a deep recession in the second quarter of this year, a less deep one in the third quarter, and then growth in the fourth quarter. He doesn't expect things to get back to normal until late next year. If true, this is bad news for Donald Trump, because the Q3 results will come out in October, just weeks before the election. If the economy is still bleeding jobs then, he is going to have a tough time convincing voters that they should vote for more of the same.

Of course, Moynihan's calculation is based on the virus slowly getting wiped out. If infections slow during the summer but come back with a vengeance in the fall, things could get worse than he expects. If there is a "W-shaped" recession, even people with jobs will be very hesitant to spend money, since they know they might not have one in a few weeks, so better save than spend now. Lots of things are possible, but having a major bank believe that even in the best-case scenario, recovery is 18 months away is not a good thing. (V)

Deutsche Bank Won't Give Senators Information on Trump's Finances

Four U.S. senators have asked Deutsche Bank, which is the only Western bank that will deal with Donald Trump, for information about his finances. The bank has loaned Trump hundreds of millions of dollars for his hotels, golf courses, and other properties. The bank has now formally refused to provide any information to the senators, citing the president's privacy.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said: "It's outrageous we don't know what secret favors the President and his family might be getting from the bank, or what favors the bank may be getting in return." The bank declined to comment about her remarks.

However, this is not the last word, as the bank well knows. Two congressional committees have subpoenaed Trump's financial records and the Supreme Court has scheduled hearings on the case next month. Undoubtedly, the Court would prefer to avoid being caught up in a case that will only be trouble for it. If it rules that Congress may get the records, Trump will be furious with the Court. If it rules that Congress may not have the records, it not only will make Democrats furious with the Court (and make them more inclined to pack it if they get the chance in January), but it will continue the current trend of making Congress a minor branch of government that is subservient to the Executive Branch.

Under the current circumstances, the Court could punt and say that it is not going to do a video hearing and will wait until the virus has been beaten down before taking up the case (and any more cases). (V)

Straight-ticket Voting Has Implications for the Senate

If Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) loses this year, as most observers expect, but no other Senate Democrat loses, the blue team will need to flip four seats to get to 50 and five to get to a clear majority of 51. Having 51 is better than 50, because with an evenly divided Senate, the committee chairmanships are split, even though the veep can break ties on appointments and legislation. But before going further, Jones has a small chance if in October, it looks like Joe Biden is going to win in a landslide. Then Jones can say: "If I win, I will have a direct line to the president and can help Alabama, whereas a first-term Republican will have zero influence with him." Still, he's a longshot.

Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball has an interesting article on coattails and incumbency for Senate races. Since 1992, there have been 240 Senate races. In 164 of them, the incumbent senator's party won the state's electoral votes. In only five of those 164 Senate races did the Senate seat switch parties. Put in modern terms, if Joe Biden wins Michigan, Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) gets to keep his job.

What about the 76 races where the senator's party lost the White House race in the state? In 41%, the Senate seat switched parties. Roughly summarized, from a senator's perspective, if your presidential candidate wins your state, his coattails will save you. If he loses your state, your chance of surviving is barely better than even.

Also important is incumbency. Of the 183 incumbents who ran for reelection, 89% won and 11% lost. If you combine the two factors, incumbent senators almost never lose when their party's presidential candidate wins their state. It's only happened four times since 1992 and three of them were flukes (like the incumbent being under indictment or 6 feet under the ground on Election Day). Only once since 1992 has a senator lost a normal race when his party carried the state in the presidential election. In modern terms, if Donald Trump wins Texas, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) gets to keep his job.

So what does this mean for control of the Senate? It is almost certain that Biden will win Colorado, which will mean Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) will join the ranks of the unemployed (until he ambles over to K Street). If Biden also carries Arizona, which it currently appears he will, then Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) will have the dubious distinction of having lost two Senate races within 2 years, one of them as the incumbent.

Two other Senate races that everyone is watching are in Maine and North Carolina. If Biden sweeps both of those states, which is certainly plausible, then Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) are roughly 50-50 on hanging onto their seats. Let's count this as +1 for the Democrats, which together with Colorado and Arizona puts them at 49, assuming Jones loses.

Iowa and Montana are possible, but it is likely Trump will carry both states. Remember that when the presidential candidate wins a state, that provides cover for the incumbent senator of his party, so the GOP may hold both. However, Montana is a little bit less certain than Iowa, because the Democratic candidate is the popular incumbent two-term governor. He is probably better known than the incumbent senator, Steve Daines (R-MT).

Finally, there is Georgia. Trump is likely to carry the state and save Sen. David Perdue (R-GA)'s bacon. The special election there is harder to call because Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) got caught with her hand in the cookie jar (i.e., insider trading) and she could lose the primary to someone (Rep. Doug Collins, R-GA) who is so far to the right that the Republican governor disobeyed Trump and didn't appoint him to the vacant seat because he thought he would lose the general election. This is one of those special cases that items in the Crystal Ball in 2024 might say was a fluke, because the voters had known that the incumbent was a crook, even if she hadn't been formally indicted.

In summary, the Democrats' hopes for retaking the Senate basically require winning both Maine and North Carolina (plausible), or if they fail in one of them, to win Montana. Here is the Crystal Ball's take on the Senate:

Crystal Ball's Senate map

With 15 seats in some level of doubt, it's an unusually combustible Senate map. (V)

Is the Southwest Lost for the GOP?

The Southwest was once "in play." Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada were swing states, although Arizona was traditionally solid red. In 2004, George W. Bush won all four of them. Such is not the case any more. While there is a lot of talk about the Midwest and the Republican gains there in 2016, somewhat under the radar, the Southwest is turning blue. Look at the map.

Colorado will almost certainly go for Joe Biden, and in Jan. 2021, most likely the governor and both senators will be Democrats. Ditto for New Mexico and Nevada. And strange as it may seem, Arizona is turning blue. There have been six presidential general-election polls of Arizona since March 2020, and Biden has led in all of them. In addition, Mark Kelly (D) has led Martha McSally since he announced his Senate run. The other senator is Kyrsten Sinema, who is also a Democrat, as are the secretary of state and the superintendent of public instruction. Gov. Doug Ducey is a Republican, but if the trend continues, the Democrats might have a good shot at the governor's mansion in 2022 when the term-limited Ducey can't run again. In reality, Arizona is already a purple state.

Even Utah and Texas are not what they used to be. While Utahns are conservative, many are Mormons and Mormons have a very distinct sense of right and wrong, and Trump doesn't score well on that scale with a lot of them. In the end, he'll probably carry Utah, but not by the 48-point margin that Mitt Romney did in 2012. Currently, Trump is only 5 points ahead of Biden in the Beehive State.

Even Texas—Texas!—is not what it was. George. W. Bush won it by 21 and 23 points, respectively. John McCain won it by 11 points and Mitt Romney won it by 16 points. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton there by 10 points. This year there have been nine polls of the Lone Star State, and Trump has led Biden by 5, 14, 2, 4, 1, -1, 4, 4, and 5 points, for an average of 4.2 points. Currently, we have Trump ahead by 5 points. It is our best guess that Trump wins the state by around 4 or 5 points, but the Democrats could flip three or four House districts. The long-term trend there certainly doesn't look encouraging for the Republicans.

If Arizona becomes bluish and Texas becomes a reddish purple, the fight for the White House and Congress will shift from the Midwest to the Southwest. If the trend continues longer and Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas become blue states, the Republican Party could become the Whigs of the 21st century (i.e., a minority party that struggles mightily to win national elections). For anyone who thinks a state can't change its color, please note that Virginia was a solid red state from 1968 to 2004. Barack Obama turned it purple in 2008, and now it is becoming, like its neighbor Maryland, a reliable blue state. Trump has close to zero chance of winning Virginia this year. (V)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Apr26 Sunday Mailbag
Apr25 Saturday Q&A
Apr25 Today's Presidential Polls
Apr24 Administration's COVID-19 Management Not too Bright
Apr24 Kemp Gets a View of Life from Under the Bus
Apr24 House Passes COVID-19 Relief Bill v4.0
Apr24 Trump Organization Would Like Bailout from Trump Administration
Apr24 Team Trump Flails around in Search for Biden's Achilles Heel
Apr24 About That Order to Shoot Down Iranian Gunboats...
Apr24 Lots of Bad COVID-19-related Demographic News for Trump
Apr24 It Could Be a While Before the 2020 Election Winner Is Known
Apr24 Today's Presidential Polls
Apr23 The General-Election Map Is Live Today
Apr23 The Pandemic Is Upending the November Map
Apr23 Poll: Few Americans Think the Social Distancing Has Gone Too Far
Apr23 Bomb, Bomb, Bomb...Bomb, Bomb Iran?
Apr23 Trump and Biden Will Battle over China
Apr23 A "W" Could Wipe Out Trump
Apr23 Milwaukee Will Send All Voters an Absentee Ballot Application
Apr23 Whitmer Has Not Spoken with Biden about Being His Running Mate
Apr23 McConnell Has Clear Priorities
Apr23 Postal Service Collapse Would Hit the Republican Base the Hardest
Apr23 Today's Presidential Polls
Apr22 Senate Has a Deal
Apr22 House Moves Toward Vote by Proxy
Apr22 Trump Immigration Ban Is Mostly a Paper Tiger
Apr22 Kemp Gets Much Blowback
Apr22 NFL Draft Starts Tomorrow
Apr22 Trump Lags Biden in National Polls
Apr22 Biden Campaign Arguing Over Leadership of Online Campaign
Apr21 Trump Says He Will Suspend Immigration
Apr21 Four States Get Ready to Reopen
Apr21 Incompetent or Corrupt?, Part I: Small Business Funding
Apr21 Incompetent or Corrupt?, Part II: Emergency Equipment Funding
Apr21 Oil Prices Fall Below Zero
Apr21 Trump Snubs Romney
Apr21 Democrats Are Raking It In
Apr21 Democrats Want Obama
Apr20 Biden Sweeps Wyoming Caucus
Apr20 Voters Dump Trump Bump
Apr20 Trump's New Election Strategy: Run on Dividing the Country
Apr20 Coronavirus Is Starting to Hit Red States
Apr20 Some Sanders' Supporters Are Undecided
Apr20 A Nationwide Mail-in Election Is Not Likely to Happen
Apr20 Michael Cohen Is Writing a Tell-All Book
Apr20 Can Political Parties Fall Victim to COVID-19?
Apr20 This Is What Good Old-fashioned Traditional Corruption Looks Like
Apr20 What Is Essential?
Apr20 Democrats Outraised Republicans in Key Senate Races
Apr19 Sunday Mailbag